An Alternative Rock Genre coming from Seattle Washington, Grunge exploded in the early to mid-’90s as acts like Pearl Jam and Nirvana overtook the mainstream. Lyrics are typically angst-filled and introspective, often addressing themes such as self-doubt, neglectbetrayalsocial and emotional isolationpsychological trauma, and a desire for freedom. 

Using the handout at home, talk about the last time you experienced hardship. What happened? How did you get past it? Look inward and find out how you made it past those hard times. 

Learn new vocabulary: Perseverance, Isolation, Emotional Outlet 

Tool Kit: A phone or laptop and Grunge Experiences handout


Step 1: Look up either a playlist of Grunge music or a few Grunge songs to listen to for inspiration. I’ll provide a sample playlist here (Disclaimer: I cannot verify that all of these songs are clean and not explicit. Please listen at your own discretion or with a parent’s permission.) 

Step 2: Grunge explores themes of traditionally taboo subjects like isolation and neglect. Listen to these songs closely and analyze the lyrics to find these themes and messages. Have you ever felt the same way before? Can you relate to what the musicians are singing about?  

Step 3: Using the handout provided, describe a time where you might have felt isolated or experienced hardship. How did you feel in the moment, and more importantly, how did you get past it? For these musicians, it’s easy to see their outlet is music and singing. What’s yours? 

Group Tour: If you feel comfortable, share the handout with your friends and family and ask them if they have ever experienced any hardships themselves. How did they feel in the moment? Did they get past it? What was their outlet? 

Extend Your Journey: There are plenty of subgenres of rock as you’ve seen already, and there are even smaller groups of grunge. If you like the music, go ahead and explore the other genres of grunge or expand into the larger area of alternative rock. 

Access Our Instructional Video Here